Friday, December 17, 2010


So what have the Florida authorities learned since 1999, when dad BILLY LYNN CASEY killed his 10-month-old son in a murder-suicide? Apparently nothing, as you still find these kinds of stories today. We still have the press describing situations like this as involving a "rocky" or "violent relationship" though "relationships" per se aren't rocky or violent--it's people who are unstable and violent. And the only one here who appeared to be unstable and violent was Daddy. Notice that three reports had been filed with the Florida Abuse Registry in the month before the murder-suicide, and that all these apparently concerned the father as he was the only one scheduled to meet with the DCF investigator.

Also notice the mother's testimony--how the father was resisting the divorce (wouldn't sign the papers), how he would take off with the child, how he would hit both of them, how he would throw things when drunk, how he had threatened to kill the mother. All of these factors should have added up to one giant red flag.

But no. Mom tried to get an order of protection, but all that Lake County Judge Donna Miller would do was grant a temporary injunction and set a hearing, which, as it turned out, was scheduled to take place AFTER the baby's murder. Yes, Mom was granted custody, but it was custody with no teeth. In fact she was treated in an extremely patronizing way, with the mother ordered into counseling. As if all this were some mental health issue and not a criminal justice crisis involving a dangerous man.

Of course, no amount of counseling on Mom's part would have kept the father from killing the child, would it?

And then you still have ignorant cops pontificating on Daddy's "hopelessness." In fact, the dad appears to be a classic narcissistic killer--the type who sees "his" woman and child as his possessions. To keep, kill, or dispose of as he sees fit.

Dad Who Killed Self, Son Had Stormy Past
Court Records Show Estranged Wife's Fears

July 23, 1999By Kathryn Quigley and Frank Stanfield of The Sentinel Staff

TAVARES - A father who authorities said killed himself and his 10-month-old son had a violent relationship with the baby's mother, causing her to fear for her life and the baby's, court records show.

Crystal Gayle Casey, 19, sought a court order July 13 seeking protection from her estranged husband, Billy Lynn Casey, 33. Eight days later, both her husband and her baby son, Nickolas, were dead.

Investigators said Thursday the father and son died of carbon monoxide poisoning Wednesday night. They suffocated in the front seat of an old car outside Casey's home in Bassville Park.

Lake County Judge Donna Miller had granted a temporary injunction and set a hearing for July 28. Miller had given Crystal Casey custody of the baby, and ordered her to get counseling from a women's shelter and report back in 10 days.

Crystal Casey wrote in her petition that her husband sometimes hit Nickolas while trying to strike her. ``He gets aggravated when my son cries, and starts yelling at him,'' she wrote.

She said she tried to work out some custody arrangements with her husband, ``but he takes him from the baby sitter's when I'm at work.''

She said that he would shout at her: ``I'll kill you if you take me to court!''

He refused to sign divorce papers, she said, and sometimes snatched the baby out of her arms during arguments. She said he would throw things during drinking bouts.

She wrote that Billy Casey burned her son's car seat so that she couldn't take him away. In another fit of rage, she said, her husband destroyed everything in Nickolas' bedroom, including his crib, clothes and stroller.

Crystal Casey could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Investigators said she lives with her mother in Sumter County. The family does not have a telephone.

Sheriff's Sgt. Nick Pallitto said the motive for the two deaths appears to be anger and hopelessness on the part of Billy Casey at the breakup of his marriage.

``I think he felt he was losing control of his life,'' Pallitto said.

The Caseys were married in February 1998. Their relationship was rocky almost from the start, according to court records.

The couple's violent relationship led to concerns about the baby's safety. Three reports were filed with the Florida Abuse Registry this month, and Billy Casey had been scheduled to meet Thursday with a protective investigator with the Department of Children & Families.